*** DEBUG END ***

Vicar swims the length of Lake Geneva

02 August 2019


The Revd Graham Buckle swims across Lake Geneva

The Revd Graham Buckle swims across Lake Geneva

A PRIEST was part of a team of swimmers who swam the length of Lake Geneva last week.

The Vicar of St Stephen’s, Rochester Row, in Westminster, the Revd Graham Buckle, who previously swam the English Channel, completed the swim after cycling 800km to Geneva from London.

The swimming group, In the Duck Poo, is part of the Serpentine Swimming Club. The name is a reference to both the conditions in the the Serpentine and the name of the lake’s song, sung to the tune of “Oh, My Darling Clementine”.

The six — Rose Lewis, Craig Kerr, Katie Berlyn Homes, Anna Kerr, Sarah Webb, and Mr Buckle — took four turns to travel the 73km length of Lake Geneva, taking 24 hours and 47 minutes to complete the feat.

Speaking on Monday, Mr Buckle said: “The nice thing was, it was nice and warm, with no jellyfish, no current.” He said that it was nicer than his swim across the Channel (News, 17 July 2017).

He explained that they had to keep swimming during the night, and that the attempt was certified by the Lake Geneva Federation.

Mr Buckle had cycled to Geneva with Ms Berlyn Holmes’s father, Gerald, over six days the preceding week. He said: “I arrived on the Sunday afternoon only to be told that I was due to swim the next day, which was quite a surprise.

“It was a great experience to cycle there. I was unable to reach a church on the Sunday; so we stopped, had lunch, and broke bread. There can’t have been many people I could have had a eucharistic moment with. We went through the foothills of the French Alps, which was pretty difficult.”

The duo of cyclists avoided the bad weather which curtailed two stages of the Tour de France in the Alps later that week.

After the swim, Mr Buckle said: “When we arrived at Geneva, the people at the beach didn’t know how to react, or what was going on.”

He said that he probably would attempt something similar again: “But I’m on the wrong side of 56 — I need new challenges.”

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events


Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available


Intercultural Church for a Multicultural World

28 May 2024

A Church Times/Church House Publishing webinar

Tickets are FREE


Church Times/Modern Church:

A Political Faith?

Monday 3 June 2024

This panel will explore where Christians have come to in terms of political power and ask, where should we go next?

Online tickets available


Church Times/Modern Church:

Participating in Democracy

Monday 10 June 2024

This panel will explore the power of voting, and power beyond voting.

Online tickets available


Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)